RogerBW's Blog

Evil Under the Sun 25 May 2022

1998 audio adaptation by Michael Bakewell of Christie's 1941 mystery, in five 30-minute episodes. The (in)famous actress is brazenly conducting an affair, and it's not really a surprised when she turns up strangled, but everyone has an alibi…

It's another peak Christie; perhaps the murder plot is a bit convoluted, not to mention repeating the effect of relying on the reader not to make a certain assumption which Christie had used herself a few years earlier, but the business is well-handled.

There are a couple of unfortunate performances, though: Wendy Craig does a very grotty "American" accent as Mrs Gardener, and Lindsey Fawcett as the 16-year-old Linda Marshall gives some line readings so flat that they sound like someone being deliberately unconvincing. (The character is supposed to be "young for her age", yes, but the 19-year-old Fawcett sounds like a pre-teenage child.) Sabina Franklyn does a game job with a minor part as Rosamund Darnley, but the real star for me was Susannah Corbett as Christine Redfern the put-upon wife.

The production is light on background effects, and if it never perhaps sounds quite as open and airy as it should, this doesn't detract from the human dramas.

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